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Mandatory septic maintenance inspection

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Mandatory on-site sewage maintenance inspections

Effective January 1, 2011, the Ontario Building Code was amended to establish mandatory maintenance inspections for all on-site sewage systems in Ontario that are identified as a significant threat to drinking water sources.

Purpose of the mandatory inspection program

These Ontario Building Code amendments help protect Ontario’s drinking water, the natural environment and support the implementation of the Clean Water Act, 2006.  Through the Clean Water Act, assessment reports were completed to identify potential threats to municipal drinking water systems.  

What properties require a mandatory inspection?

Properties identified as a potential threat to municipal drinking water systems are located in a source protection area. Within Oxford County, an inspection will be required on properties with an on-site sewage system that is located within a Well Head Protection Area (WHPA) A, B or C with a vulnerability score of 10 and /or an Issue Contributing Area (ICA) for nitrates. The Ontario Building Code requires all on-site sewage systems in these areas to be inspected every five years. 

Who will complete these inspections?

Oxford County Public Health has been appointed by the local municipalities to conduct these mandatory inspections in Oxford County in order to fulfill the provincially mandated program requirements.

When will these inspections take place?

Prior to the maintenance inspection program being implemented, a letter will be sent by Oxford County Public Health to each property owner affected by the program.  This program will begin in late summer 2015.  Homeowners will be required to complete a questionnaire in order to provide information about their property to Oxford County Public Health prior to the mandatory inspection.

What if problems are found with my septic system during the inspection?

If a problem is found with your system you will need to correct the identified issue(s) by obtaining the required permits and approvals within a reasonable timeframe.  You may need to contact a qualified installer to repair or replace the septic tank or leaching bed. 

On-site sewage system resources

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Septic Smart! 

Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre 

Conservation Ontario